We, the people of the United States, have elected a new president. While an accomplishment in its own right, this election does not resemble a sweeping mandate. Instead, the narrow margin of victory shows a nation struggling with internal conflict. This election cycle was contentious, pitting neighbor against neighbor and friend against friend, and that must stop! All are entitled to their opinions, but a differing opinion is not an enemy. It is up to us to come together, to eliminate the binary form of thinking in our discourse. We all want to live in a nation of power and resilience, but we are nothing if we are at war with one another.

The last four years have been combative, and I imagine the next four years will share a similar tone. But we must realize that the presidency doesn’t determine our success or failure. Consequently, it is the will of the people to become one nation that sets our path forward. President Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” In that spirit, I believe that a nation divided against itself will not stand. We are at a fork in the road; what path do we take? The choice is ours!

—Bradley Wheeler,
University of North Dakota student,
Imlay City High School 2016 alumnus